Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie expressed his frustration at the washout. Ben Whitley/INPHO
fliuch it anyway

Rain washes out World Cup clash to slow Ireland's momentum

Andrew Balbirnie and his fellow giant-killers were forced to share the points with winless Afghanistan after rain washed out play without a ball being bowled.

IRELAND SKIPPER ANDREW Balbirnie expressed frustration after rain denied his giant-killers a crack at another famous win at the Twenty20 World Cup on Friday.

Showers are forecast for much of the day in Melbourne, also threatening the blockbuster evening showdown between Australia and England.

The Irish were pumped up after stunning England by five runs on Wednesday, but they were forced to share the points at the MCG with winless Afghanistan after rain washed out play without a ball being bowled.

“Very disappointing. We played some really good cricket the other night and were looking forward to this fixture against a team we know really well,” said Balbirnie.

“We spoke a lot about it after the England game, about backing up that performance and coming out here and playing some good cricket. We didn’t get to show what we could do today, unfortunately.

“If it could have gone our way we could have gone to Brisbane (to play Australia on Monday) with a lot of hopes of going into the next round.”

Ireland had form against the Afghans, winning a five-match T20 series 3-2 earlier this year.

Both teams receive one point so Ireland move to second in the Group 1 table.

They sit alongside table-toppers New Zealand, who face Sri Lanka in Sydney on Saturday, on three points.

Afghanistan are bottom of the group on two points and skipper Mohammad Nabi was equally disappointed — it was their second washout of the tournament.

“The preparation was really good, we learned a lot from our first game against England and worked on our particular mistakes,” he said.

“We were fully ready… The plan was to put a score on the board and bring the spinners into the game during the chase.”

They next face Sri Lanka in Brisbane on Tuesday.

– © AFP 2022

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